Thursday, October 15, 2009
Japanese dinner party
Back in mid-July we had a small Japanese dinner party at our place, attended by some of our Estonian friends and an American couple residing in Tallinn, nine adults in total.
We had a mix of Japanese dishes - no sushi, however - and everybody seemed to like the food. Somehow I never got around to sharing the photos from that night until now. I do not intend to blog about each and every dish on the table that night - I am no expert in Japanese cooking, and there are many bloggers out there who'd have much more authentic recipes to share - but if there's a particular dish that interests you, let me know in the comments.
We tried to have five different colours on the table - black/purple, white, red/orange, yellow and green; as well as five cooking methods (boiling, grilling, deep-frying, steaming and raw); and five flavours (sweet, salty, spicy, sour, bitter). Below is a "photo reportage" of the dishes we served and enjoyed that night.
A selection of Japanese crackers, sent over from Tokyo by my friend Ryoko.
Spanish mackerel sashimi with dried miso from Nobu Matsuhisa & Mark Edwards' book NOBU WEST:
Nasu dengaku or grilled aubergine/eggplant slices with miso paste and sesame seeds. I used a mix of hacho-miso and shiro-miso, and this dish was one of my favourites! It's impossible to get thin Japanese aubergines/eggplants here in Estonia, so I used a regular purple aubergine. (If I can get hold of seeds for the Japanese aubergines, I might try growing them in my new greenhouse next year :))
I couldn't get frozen edamame pods any more, only shelled ones. So instead of serving steamed edamame pods, I boiled some soy beans, drained them and dressed them with some ume plum vinegar, soy sauce and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds:
Chicken and leek yakitori skewers, a popular and well-known Japanese dish:
Another Japanese classic, tempura. We battered and deep-fried fresh chantarelles, sugarsnap pea pods and calamari rings:
Pieces of salmon marinating in teriyaki sauce. Home-made, of course!
The curiosity dessert :) I wanted to make something with matcha, the green tea powder. Matcha ice cream would have been an obvious choice, but I already had some home-made cherry ice cream sitting in the freezer. Instead I made matcha jelly, served with red azuki bean paste, from Harumi Kurihara's "Harumi's Japanese Cooking". It was definitely, umm, interesting. Not bad, but the taste and texture were really unusual, and best served in very small portions to the Estonian (and American) palate. Massimo, the 11-month old son of our American guests, really enjoyed the bitter-sweet concoction, however.